Scam Safety – How to be Safe Online

Scam Safety – How to be Safe Online

Internet expert Evan Connell tells us how we can keep safe from an internet scam.

Scams. After a long career on the internet, I am now starting to give talks on how to keep yourself safe from online scammers. Why? Because this is an issue that particularly affects the Over-50s. Many are susceptible to scammers, simply because they are not digital natives. And, they don’t fully understand how the internet works, and how easily you can be scammed.

Here’s how I arrived at the decision to lecture in online safety.

An associate of mine, Margaret Hadfield is the owner of several galleries, including one called Bitcoin Fine Art Gallery. This is an innovative, experimental business where all artworks can be purchased online using Bitcoin. My office is next door to one of Margaret’s art galleries.

One day, an elderly gentleman arrived at the gallery. He was 94 years old, and walked with a walking frame. He was delivered to the gallery via a taxi, but asked the taxi to wait outside for him.

Scams with Crypto

This elderly gentleman had Googled “Bitcoin” on the internet. I had optimised Margaret’s website to be found when someone did this, so the old man decided that’s where he would go to ask some questions.

Says Margaret, “He walked into the gallery and asked about sending Bitcoin to somewhere in North Africa. Shocked and suspicious, I sat him down and gave him a cup of coffee, and I texted Evan to come and help me work out what was going on before he left. I endeavoured to find out more information about this old man wanting to buy Bitcoin to send to the other side of the world.

“I was very suspicious. He told me a friend of his he had known since the Battle of Midway wanted the money. This man goes on to tell me he was a fighter pilot, waging war over the Solomon Islands. I believed his story. His story rings true on the internet as well. And my friend, who is a Doctor of Military History actually knows of him.

“So here is this elderly gentleman, with an amazing war story. They have made movies about the particular dogfight he was in. And he was sitting in my gallery. I’m plying him with coffee and talking to him and making him feel good, dying for Evan to arrive to help me sort this all out. When he started saying that his friend was on the Ivory Coast and wanting the Bitcoin it just didn’t sound safe at all.”

Does this sound suspicious?

Of course it does. I arrived to discover that this elderly man wanted me to take his money, buy Bitcoin, and send it to the Ivory Coast in Africa. Then, I sent the taxi away, fairly certain that the taxi driver was in on the scam.

I read the email which asked him to send the Bitcoin. To an elderly man with little experience of the internet, it might not have been suspicious at all. But to me, a seasoned internet professional, it was obviously a scam. When we challenged him and told him it was a scam, he actually got quite angry with us. After all, it is easier to fool someone than it is to prove to them that they’ve been fooled. But we were not going to let this go until he was safe.

I called the police and reported the scam. I also managed to find out where this man was living. He was in an aged care facility. I spoke to a manager there and made sure he got back safely and that he wasn’t a victim of any more scamming. Sadly, the care manager said that he had Alzheimer’s although he was highly functional and can seem reasonable at times. They came and picked him up, and agreed he needed special care around this situation so it wouldn’t happen again.

The Scam Continues

We found out subsequently that he had already sent gold and silver bullion to the scammers before meeting us. He thought he was speaking with his old war mates, but in reality, he had been ripped off terribly.

Anyone can get scammed these days, not just older members of our community.

Here are some things to keep in mind while online:

-Never click on a link from an email.

– Always check who the email is from.

-No bank will ask you to pay in Bitcoin.

– Scammers target older people. They have a lot more time and often they are lonely and like to chat.

– Older people don’t understand how to check things out as fast as digital natives.

– Scammers assume that older people have a lifetime of savings in their bank.

– Older people aren’t as savvy with all things internet like younger people are, so they tend to be more trusting of younger people telling them how to manage their online life.

And finally, Microsoft will never call you and ask to remotely link to your computer.  

SENIOR SCAM ALERT

Worried about being scammed on the web? Internet expert Evan Connell will be coming to the Gold Coast soon to give seminars on how to navigate the intricate world of the internet. This course is specifically designed for senior citizens.

What you will learn

-Recognizing if the email you received is a scam

-How internet scammers find out information about you

-How to avoid losing your money through internet scams

Keep an eye on our website, silvermagazine.com.au or register your interest at info@sunkissmedia.com.au

Online Sales: How to Succeed

Online Sales: How to Succeed

Online sales are the key to economically surviving the hellscape that is Covid-19. Evan Connell tells us how to succeed online.

Let’s Get Started

Having an e-commerce website as well as a brick-and-mortar retailing site is a really good idea. The e-commerce site allows you to reach customers who are not in your immediate vicinity. Your online website can be open 24/7. Most bricks-and-mortar retail outlets cannot be open all day every day. Also, the operational costs of an e-commerce site are much lower.

Many customers are starting to prefer shopping online to actual shopping in-person. Despite this, so many online shopping websites utterly fail. This is due to several issues, and most have easy fixes.

Here are some things that you need to be aware of to ensure your ecommerce site is a winner.

Online sales: Have good quality images

Make sure you display the product from several viewpoints. Use excellent quality photos, that enables the customer to zoom in and really check the product out. Customers cannot pick up the product, so you need to provide the closest substitute to this as possible. If your photos are of poor quality, you will almost certainly lose the sale.

Have excellent product descriptions

Make sure your product descriptions are very detailed, and unique to that product. Don’t use generic descriptions, which have been supplied to you from the supplier. You need to draw in the customer with creative product detail. Put the effort in, it is worth it!

Missing contact information

Having clear, easy-to-find contact information makes customers trust you. Having it buried deep in the site is not a good idea. It will put a trust barrier up superfast and they may even just simply log out and never come back.

Customers need to know that they can contact you if a problem arises. If they get this peace of mind, they are much more likely to spend money with you. You need to show your location, your full contact details, and your phone number. If you don’t, then your customers won’t be breaking down their trust barriers any time soon.

Complicated checkout

The big, successful ecommerce websites all have simple purchasing processes. This is why they are so successful. Make sure you keep your payment process easy and clear. Once it gets too complicated, with too many steps, customers are likely to get spooked and click away from the purchasing process.

Online sales: Make registration optional

If customers have to register for their first product, they might not commit to the purchase. Let the customer go through the checkout process. Then give them an option to register their details at the end. If they come back for a second purchase, their details will be saved and the checkout process will be even easier. Otherwise, let them view products and buy as a guest, and use the checkout as a guest. It builds trust and is more likely to get that sale.

Don’t have hidden fees

People abandoning their cart is a massive problem for online retailers. A big part of this is surprise fees added at the end, like unexpected shipping costs. The shipping rates need to be clear from the very start of the purchase process. Show customers clearly how many items (or the spending threshold they need to cross) to get free shipping. Hiding them until the end is a big no-no. It is easy to give your customers a shipping calculator based on where they are in the world.

Which Screen?

Most shoppers are moving away from bigger screens like laptops and tablets to their mobile phones. You need to make sure your website looks great on both types of screens. Make it a priority to be mobile responsive, so your customers don’t click away because your site doesn’t load properly.

Tell customers what to do

As soon as your customers log on, tell them what to do. If they get confused or cannot work out the next step, you’ll lose them. Pages that don’t have products for sale on them should steer the customer towards the products you want them to buy. Make sure they are guided through your website from start to finish.

Online sales: Marketing

Your products are ready. Your site is finished and looks snazzy. And now, you have arrived at the hard part – internet marketing. You might have the best ecommerce site in the world but if you don’t drive traffic towards it, then it’s not worth having.

You will need to create an inbound marketing strategy. Then implement it. You will need to collect leads from social media, Google organic and paid advertising. As you start to get sales traction, people will start rating you online and offline, and you’ll be able to grow your business. But you will need to get the initial marketing right.

Engage with your customers

Get into the minds of your customers. Talk to them if you can on social media by creating a discussion etc. If a customer is not satisfied with a product, or has returned it, try to find out why. This way, you can work out what went wrong and make the process better for future customers.

Targeting

Make sure you are targeting the right market. You may have many online campaigns driving customers to your site. But if they get there and it is not what they are into, then your marketing efforts are wasted. You’ll need to research what your target market likes, and match that to your ad campaigns and how your website looks and sounds.

Get the pricing right

Pricing online is incredibly important. Online shoppers can check with other websites in just minutes. In physical stores, they have to walk from store to store. But online, you have to be smarter. If your price is too cheap, customers will think your products are rubbish. If the price is too high, then they will just go to an alternative supplier. Keep an eye on your competitors and work out your customers’ pricing ‘sweet spot.’

Online sales: Conclusion

You can build a business online with minimal overheads. But it does take some thought and work to make it a truly great selling machine. If you want more advice, you can contact the author from our contact page.

Need to sell a book online? Then check this out.

Sell Your Book Online. Here’s How.

Sell Your Book Online. Here’s How.

Sell Your Book Online. Here’s How.

Need to sell your book online?

Evan Connell is the Chief Online Marketing Strategist and founder of Apparition Online. He explains how you can get those sales figures to shoot upward!

So your book is finished. It is sitting on your coffee table, looking all shiny and new. But now what? How do you get book buyers in front of it? And, even better, wanting to purchase it?

There are a few things in the marketing mix that you need to get right. The secret? You will need to make a soft copy version as well as a hard copy. That is, have the same book for sale, but in an electronic version. This can be in Kindle format or using another similar platform. Or it could just be in a PDF format. I hear you ask, “But why do I need a ‘soft copy’ as well?”

There are a huge number of books launched per day. But you need to catch the reader’s attention and make them want to click on your book and then start the purchasing process.

Sell Your Book Online by Creating Engaging Content

You can even create GIFs for your book

You may need to write a new introduction for the eBook, as you are selling it online and you are trying to grab the skimmer’s attention. This is different to how you sell a hard copy book in a bookshop.

When selling online, you need to hook the readers right away. You must have an engaging introduction followed by good content. The introduction to your eBook should both set the stage for the contents, and draw the reader in.

Proofread and Finalise

Once you have finalised the content of your eBook, you must proofread it to death. There’s a saying in editing circles – you can’t proofread your own work. Get someone else to have a look over it if you can. You need to recheck the whole content. Make sure there are no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes and rewrite it. This is especially important in the introduction. If the reader feels that the whole book is going to be a shabby mess, they will scroll on. You must get all of the bugs out!

Make your Content Presentable

Design is a massively important part of publishing. If you don’t have an artistic eye, hand the work over to someone who does. The content of your eBook needs to be visually appealing – to the point of being eye candy. Depending upon your eBook concept, you can also include pictures. In this Instagram-shaped world, visuals do keep the eye on the page and attract readers. Go for it!

Sell Your Book Online with a Killer Cover

Getting the cover right is the holy grail of publishing. The saying goes, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ But every person who buys a book does exactly that. The visuals and taglines are incredibly important. People will decide in 10 seconds whether they like the book or not, just from the cover. Oo you have to get this part of the sales equation exactly right.

Design The Landing Page

Sell your book online

Once the whole eBook concept is finalised and uploaded for sale, it is ready for the next step. That is, to create a landing page for it. The landing page is any page of a website that the user lands on when they click the link to find out more information, or to buy it. This page is crucial: it is there to funnel potential buyers into a purchase. You will need an engaging landing page that customers won’t bounce off.

Sell Your Book Online by Sharing and Promoting

One of the leading ways to push your book to many people is to promote it on social media. There are lots of different ways to do this. You can go with facebook and Instagram, and use them as a way to reach many people with your blogs or extracts from the book. You can also share other blogs that are related to your book’s subjects, as a way to keep interest.

If you need any help with this, then we can do all of this for you. Click here for more details.

Looking for the perfect place to read a book? What about on the deck of this beautiful beast?

Aqua – The Most Beautiful Vessel on the Sea

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